We are wrapping up International Mental Health Awareness Week with a story of victory from local entrepreneur, wife and mom, Madie Fraser. 

“About 4 years ago I got into active therapy and 4 years later, I feel like a brand-new person.” Fraser says that today she is walking through life with confidence knowing who she is as a person, stating, “I just feel so fulfilled in everything I do.” 

Today Fraser is a successful photographer and business owner, but life hasn’t always been this way for her. In 2020, she found herself sitting on the steps in her garage wondering if those around her would be okay without her. 

“I felt lost, and it was really, really scary and really, really dark. What if everyone's life would just be OK if... I felt like I was the factor that was so dark in all of it. I texted my husband and I said, ‘I need to go to therapy’. That darkness was engulfing and overwhelming.” 

That is when things started to change for Fraser. She began to seek counselling and gain the tools she needed to deal with the many emotions that she was trying to navigate through.  

"We've walked through a lot of different things. We walked through infertility. I am so thrilled and happy to say we have our little miracle baby boy now. His name is Callum”, she smiled. “And in 2020, we all know what happened [the pandemic], and I'm originally from the States. The borders closed. I had just moved to Canada and married my husband. I was separated from my family.” 

Through counselling Fraser learned that it was OK to feel the emotions she was feeling through these trying times.

“I was the people pleaser. [Eventually] it just made me feel lonely. [I thought] maybe we aren't allowing ourselves to really feel those big emotions.” 

Fraser learned that having big emotions is normal, acceptable, and healthy. 

“I used to bottle everything up and it just stuck to my core. It felt like I never got to get it out of me. So now, I'm actively working through therapy and different mental health [strategies]. When someone does something that is not fair to me or something didn't go my way, I have allowed myself to go through the emotions. It feels really freeing because being able to regularly tell myself ‘It is OK to not be OK’ or ‘It is OK to feel angry, it's OK to feel mad, it's OK to be sad, and it's OK to feel proud. It's OK. We are made of emotions. We need to allow ourselves and give ourselves permission to feel all the emotions.” 

Listen to the interview with Madie Fraser and Connie Bailey below.